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Welcome to the SMC Residence Parent’s Page
Congratulations to both you and your son/daughter for reaching this exciting and important life stage! In this next stage of their education, you may expect that some changes will occur for both you, as parents and guardians and for your son/daughter, as they seek independence. The purpose of this page is to provide you with some information about SMC Residence and how you can continue to support your son/daughter during this transitional time.
|Important Dates 2017-2018|
|August 30th, 2017||1st Installment Deadline for SMC Residence Fees, payment due date for 2017 Fall-2018 Winter Registration and deadline to SMC Residence Fees|
|September 2nd, 2017||Move-in Day, beginning at 9:00am|
|September 3rd, 2017||SMC Orientation Begins|
|September 7th, 2017||Engineering classes begin|
|September 7th, 2017||Arts and Science classes begin|
|September 30th, 2017||1st Installment Deadline (OSAP/Gov’t loan deferral only) for Residence Fees; Last day to make meal plan changes for the 2017-2018 Academic Year|
|October 9th, 2017||Thanksgiving Monday (UofT Closed – No Classes)|
|November 6th-10th, 2017||Fall Reading Week (No Classes)|
|November 30th, 2017||2nd Installment Deadline for SMC Residence Fees and Fee Payment Deadline for 2018 Winter term Tuition and Non-Tuition fees|
|December 6th, 2017||Last day of classes for the fall semester|
|December 8th – 20th, 2017||Exam period|
|December 21st 2017 at 11am – January 3rd, 2018 at 9am||HOLIDAY BREAK (the Residence is closed during this break; the occupancy does not include this period). Students must vacate residence within 48 hours of their last exam or by December 21st, 2017 at 11am (latest)|
|January 3rd, 2018 at 9am||Residence reopens. Students may access their rooms anytime after 9am.|
|January 4th, 2018||Arts and Science classes begin|
|January 4th, 2018||Engineering classes begin|
|January 31st, 2018||2nd Installment deadline for Residence Fees and deadline for Winter Term Tuition (OSAP/Gov’t loan deferral only)|
|February 19th, 2018||Family Day ( U of T Closed – No Classes)|
|February 19th – 23rd, 2018||Reading Week (No Classes)|
|March 30th, 2018||Good Friday (U of T Closed)|
|April 9th – 30th, 2018||Exam period|
|May 1st, 2018||Residence Closes. Students must vacate residence within 48 hours of their last exam or by May 1st, 2018 at 11am (latest)|
How to help your student
Our role – Our goal is to ensure the safety and well-being of your student during their time at SMC Residence. If your student needs help they are supported by a large Residence Life team. A student’s first contact is their house Don. Dons are senior students with a wide range of leadership and mentoring skills and abilities. Dons are supervised by the Assistant Dean, Residence Life and the Dean of Students. It is a student’s responsibility to contact their Don should they have any questions or concerns. Get to know our Residence Dons and the Dean’s Office Staff.
STUDENT PRIVACY (FIPPA)
As of June 10, 2006 Ontario universities have come under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FIPPA).
Under these laws our office cannot release information regarding your student, including, but not limited to: their comings and goings, their social life, their academic standing, if they live in residence, options chosen on a residence application, residence assignment, their ACORN/ROSI invoice, and disciplinary actions. Please be aware that these laws apply to the records of all students, past and present, regardless of their age.
We ask that parents respect that all employees at SMC will be unable to provide student information under penalty of law. Please maintain an open line of communication between yourself and your student.
For further information regarding FIPPA please visit: http://www.fippa.utoronto.ca/
Moving into residence is a new and exciting chapter in your student’s life. While each student adjusts differently to moving away from home for the first time, your role is to ensure that their transition goes smoothly, and provide them with the opportunity to grow.
Parent/Student Transition Tips
Moving away to residence is a big change for both students and parents, but here are a few tips on how to support and encourage your student to become a self-sustaining adult in residence:
Help them transition into being responsible, independent adults by letting them make decisions on their own. Be there to support and provide alternatives, but remember decisions are ultimately their own.
Make sure to give them space during their first few weeks away in residence. They are making new friends and having new experiences. Events for students begin the first evening of move-in; so make sure you say your goodbyes early.
Set a schedule for communication (phone calls, Skype chats etc.) so that students know when to expect a phone call. Students are often busy day and night and it is not uncommon for them to fall out of touch (especially during exam time). Many students love visits from loved ones as well, but make sure they are always planned in advanced and not a surprise.
Have conversations about money with your student before they arrive. Financial planning is important, as is the understanding of how they are paying for school, residence, books, school supplies, recreation, etc. This is also the first time many students acquire a credit card and may not know how to use it responsibly.
High school learning is very different from university learning, and the University of Toronto is very challenging academically. Students, and often times parents, expect that they will get the same grades they received in high school, and this can be an unrealistic expectation. A significant grade drop is not uncommon as the learning style at university is very different and is generally focused on lectures, with the responsibility on the student to do all of their readings, hand in lab work, etc.
What you can do as a parent is remain encouraging, without putting too much focus on grades or the area of study they should pursue. If they are struggling, ask them to speak to the SMC Registrar’s Office about resources on campus (and there are a lot!) that they can go to for assistance.
Contacting Your Student
Make sure to give them space their first few weeks away in residence. They are making new friends and having new experiences. Events for students begin the first evening of move-in, so make sure you say your goodbyes early.
To maximize your contact with your student, establish a communication routine prior to move-in day. Discussing this with your student early on in the year will not only ease your worry, but will also have a positive effect, as students tend to get extremely busy as the year progresses and may not be able to answer your phone calls, emails or texts right away. Responding to messages can get pushed down their priority list when their social life, academics, school involvement, and adjustment to university life, all take over.
*Please note that due to privacy regulations, we are unable to release the phone extension, room assignment or mailing address of a student (to anyone but the student themselves). We encourage parents, friends and family members to ask their student for these details before move-in day.*
Depending on how sick your student may be, there are several services and resources that are in place to support them. Living with 568 people, the common cold is common, so plenty of rest and healthy eating will help. If home is close by, going back to recuperate in a familiar and comfortable environment can also help.
If the student is experiencing a more serious illness, they are strongly encouraged to see a doctor as soon as possible. Health Services at the University is a great start, and there are several walk-in clinics located close to SMC. Iamsick.ca is also a great resource for students to seek medical help. If a student is not well enough to attend class, they should contact their professor/registrar, as well as their Don. Their Don can also arrange for them to receive take out meals from the Dining Hall when they are unwell.
If a student sustains an injury that involves crutches or other mobility issues, their house Don should be notified in case of emergency evacuation. Please note that International students should register for UHIP as soon as they arrive at University so that in case of an emergency, they have their UHIP coverage in place.
Parental Involvement – Roommate Conflict
Living with a new roommate can have its challenges and rewards, and for some students this may be the first time they have had to share a space. When a student applies to SMC Residence, they are asked to fill out a personality profile that we use to best match roommates. It is important that students (and not parents) fill these out honestly to be best paired up with their future roommate. When they move in, students will receive a Roommate Contract that they will go over with their Don so that the aspects of a shared living space such as: study times, sleeping habits, cleanliness, and visitors, are discussed to create a mutually beneficial arrangement.
You can support your student by encouraging them to have open communication with their roommate. If they have any issues, it is important they speak to their roommate about them as they arise. If they cannot come to a resolution on their own, they should contact their house Don, who is trained in conflict mediation and communication. If an issue goes beyond mediation with the Don, the students will be referred to the Assistant Dean, Residence Life. Roommate switches are rare and are a last resort and often not feasible as the residence is fully booked.
As a parent, please keep your emotional involvement in mind. Your personal involvement might make the situation worse for your student. Give support by remaining on neutral ground and providing an open perspective, not an answer. This will encourage your student to grow and be independent, by learning to cope with certain situations.
Some tips on how to help your student are listed below:
- Encourage your student to approach conflict in the, “prevention rather than confrontation” way.
- Discuss with your student how to communicate concerns regarding unacceptable behaviours.
- Help your student define the conflict, and how to find the source – personal behaviour, idiosyncrasies, communication – whether verbal or non-verbal.
- Help your student understand that they and their roommate both have an equal right to be heard, to change their mind, to be taken seriously, and to be treated with respect.
Whether students’ homes are 20 minutes away, or around the world, being away from home can be difficult. At first they may not feel a strong connection to their new home, but trust us, they will soon.
The best way for students to feel better about their new home and the new community they belong to is to encourage them to get involved in residence and campus life. The more involved they are, the more connections they make and the more they create their own support network and community. A student who just goes to class and studies will make less connections and is less likely to learn about all the resources that SMC and U of T have to offer.
Every residence house will have it’s own House Council which is responsible for organizing social, athletic and recreational events for the enjoyment of the other house members. Through these activities, the council assists residents in transforming their house from a group of strangers living independently within the same building, into a cohesive unit with a collective identity and community spirit. Each House Council has a President, Dean’s Cup Rep, and Treasurer. House Councils can also appoint up to three Councillors at Large to assist with various projects the house may be initiating.
Students can also get involved with their faculty, or join one of the 150+ student clubs and organizations that UofT has to offer.